5 Reasons You Must Pay Attention to Bellator

Michael Evans@@MikeEvansMMACorrespondent IIIApril 1, 2012

5 Reasons You Must Pay Attention to Bellator

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    It's official at this point that Bellator Fighting Championships is relevant, exciting and constantly improving its presentation, image and stock of top-notch talent. Bellator is the unofficial second biggest mixed martial arts promotion on the planet, and there is plenty of reasons to want to watch.

    Bellator hasn't gotten the greatest ratings on MTV2 lately, but all of that should change in 2013 when the organization will be broadcast on Spike TV. Bellator provides a tournament format that harkens back to the old UFC days and features homegrown talent from all corners of the globe.

    One of the facets that has made it less appealing is that their champions often sit on the shelf for long periods of time waiting for the tournaments to play out. Although now it seems that will be less of an issue with tournaments happening at greater frequency. And with the total, unrelenting support of CEO Bjorn Rebney, Bellator is poised to take it to the next level along with the UFC, and help bring the sport of mixed martial arts into the mainstream once and for all.

1) Diamonds in the Rough

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    In the picture at left we Bryan "The Beast" Baker in action. If it were not for Bellator Fighting Championships, he would be just another fighter; Bellator has made him a watched fighter and a name.

    One of the great reasons to watch Bellator is that this organization breeds diamonds in the rough. Fighters who the UFC misses, either because of overlooking them or doubting their potential, who fall through the cracks are picked up Bellator frequently.

    Bellator has harnessed great talent like Alexander Schlemenko, Bryan Baker, Ben Askren, Cole Konrad, Pat Curran, Joe Warren, Hector Lombard and many more that, for whatever reason, have not ended up in the UFC. Bellator utilizes its talent in a way to helps both the organization and the fighters grow.

2) Bellator Is Non-Stop Excitement

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    Another reason that a person must watch Bellator is that it is a non-stop action show. Right now, Bellator airs on MTV2 on Saturday nights in a two-hour time slot.

    In that two hours, they regularly feature five fights. That means that in a typical season of Bellator, you get a free and exciting fight card every Saturday night featuring different weight classes and different personalities.

    Again, all of these fights happen in two hours, so unlike a UFC pay-per-view where there is a lot of filler to fill the longer time slot, Bellator has very little of the fluff and more of the fisticuffs. This is very pleasing to a fan and makes Bellator something you must watch!

3) They Have Stars Too

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    Bellator finds great talent that has, for whatever reason not been plucked up by the UFC, and it turns that talent into star power. I just realized that sounded like a Mario Brothers reference, but that was not where I am trying to go. Bellator creates stars by letting their fighters win those tournaments and then marketing their champions in the right way.

    Hector Lombard is a star in my eyes and he is gathering interest from the UFC, as his free-agency status hangs over the sport like a stubborn rain storm that just won't go away. Bellator has former Olympic wrestler Ben Askren. They have Pat Curran, who is their first multiple weight-class tournament winner and after brutally knocking out Joe Warren, he is the Bellator featherweight champion.

    Bellator also has Eddie Alvarez, who faces Dream champion Shinya Aoki this month. Michael Chandler, who dethroned Alvarez, is also a new star on their roster. Bellator is a must-watch organization also, because it produces star talent that must be seen. 

4) Bjorn Rebney

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    Some might be wondering why this is a reason to watch Bellator, but to me, it makes perfect sense. This man makes it all happen. He came up with the tournaments, the money, and has an eye for talent that is unparalleled.

    Bellator is a must watch because Bjorn Rebney makes Bellator relevant every day. He has a great relationship with his fighters, as was evidenced recently by his willingness to work with Thiago Santos about his weight cutting instead of blowing up and firing him (as Dana White surely would have done).

    Bjorn Rebney is the man who makes Bellator go round, and he makes a product that is a must see.

5) It's All About the Tournaments Baby

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    The one glaring, in-your-face example of what makes Bellator special is their tournament format. It is true that the process has taken time to get right, but its growing pains are showing signs of maturing into a process that will get easier and easier to repeat.

    By having tournaments where a guy has to win three bouts to get a title shot, fans get to know these fighters, and by the time they fight for the world title people are emotionally invested in that person, therefore making the experience more significant (like what the UFC Primetime series tries to achieve).

    The tournaments was a genius idea, and that unique quality has helped Bellator stay relevant even in the darker times. The tournaments make Bellator Fighting Championships a must watch sporting event each and every time.